Category Archives: lgbtqi

It’s “International Women’s Day” For A Reason

international-womens-day

Just remember, it’s International Women’s Day, not United States of America Women’s Day.

A good measure of how individualistic we are as a country is demonstrated by our response to “International Woman’s Day” (which happens to be on Wednesday March 8th). I bet all the money in my bank account (roughly $112.23) that on International Women’s Day this year someone you know either posts online or says outright in conversation that women already have equal rights and that feminism is basically useless in a society that most claim to be utilitarian in nature. These ideas can’t be further from the truth, and I beg to claim that although American utilitarian virtues can eventually mobilize globally, we need straightforward approaches to making the world a better place for women, and to be confined to our borders as far as our actions go is both uneducated and harmful. We need to start thinking across borders and focusing on how we can help our sisters in countries that have yet to recognize the rights which we are afforded here in USA.

MLK famously said “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere” or something along those lines (an injustice to anyone is an injustice to everyone? Is that the quote?). Anyways, that’s true. If there are shitty things happening across the globe, it is shitty to all of our human experience. So how do we react to this? What are we obligated to do when we hear that there is still female genital mutilation happening in African tribes? Or that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rape is a common instrument of war?  How about the fact that honor killings continue to take place or that China practices femicide, purposely murdering baby girls after their born or aborting fetuses once the mother learns that she’s pregnant with a female child.

honourkilling protest

Women and men protesting honor killings, which are still commonplace in some areas of India. An honor killing is when a woman is killed if her family is unable to pay a large enough dowry or if she somehow shames her family and husband. It’s not uncommon for a woman who is raped to be murdered by her family in an honor killing. 

We have to think past what we are afforded and imagine this picture of life on a mass scale. Thinking big often gets me laughed at, but I’ll take it. I’d rather be laughed at imagining a better world then succumbing to the idea that the world has to be an awful place.  I also will argue that it is worse to pretend that atrocities don’t exist than to learn about them and ignore them. If you know these practices are happening, and you aren’t doing anything about it, how is it different than if FGM was happening in Kansas, rather than Africa, and you chose to ignore it? It’s not different. It might make us feel shitty that we aren’t actively working for an NGO, trying to educate tribe leaders to not pass down the custom of FGM, but not everyone can do that. There are other ways to act that are beneficial to making the world a better place for women.

So what can you do? 1.) Educate yourself and those around you. When people start to moan about International Women’s Day and how women have rights in America, tell them a little bit about why it’s so important that we think about this on a global level. Technology and communication has allowed us to become a global society, so we ought to start thinking about all aspect of society as such.

2.) Donate $5 right now to some type of womencentric organization. Here’s a few:

Planned Parenthood

Catherine McAuley Center

Working Group on Women’s Peace and Security

RAINN

Scranton Women’s Resource Center

3.) Educate yourself a little more. Make a commitment to follow one issue this year that you care about. I recommend using https://iwpr.org/ to find and follow efforts you care about. it’s also my current dream to work here, fyi if anyone knows anyone here who is hiring  ❤

 And if anyone comes at you about “International Women’s Day”, remind them that it’s not called “United States of American Women’s Day”.

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Progressives and Political Correctness (or lack of)

on-political-correctness

lulz but 4real

I just watched a Dave Rubin YouTube video entitled” Why I Left the Left”,  uploaded via Prager University (just real quick, incase you’re not familiar- they aren’t a university, they’re a blog/media site that gave themselves the title of “university”). Rubin basically said progressives don’t have a progressive agenda because progressives support censorship via political correctness, they don’t believe in the exercise of free speech as demonstrated from such responses in Berkeley to Milo’s planned speech, and they don’t believe that laws should protect religious freedoms even though the absent of these laws violates religious people’s conscious and autonomy (ie: progressives believe no matter who comes in for a wedding cake, say Adam and Steve, Cathy’s Christian Cakes still has to make it even though Cathy believes that Adam and Steve are the devil). Oh, and the video also asserts that trigger warnings are bad and are for cry baby snowflakes who can’t deal with a little blood/angry words.

None of this is true. At least it isn’t true for myself and the “progressives” that I surround myself with. Videos like Rubin’s referenced here are dangerous because they’re spreading a message that generalizes a huge group of people into one school of thought that has defined, or perceived, limits (cough*propaganda*cough). If we group everyone together we lose individuality, which is where truly great ideas will come from. It boxes us all together, and that’s not real! To say that my ideas and outlook on life are the same as all progressives is wrong and a stupid thing to assert. Just because I’m a progressive doesn’t mean that I think we should be spending all of our money on saving baby seals and giving undocumented people mansions.  It gets especially dangerous when the issues/schools of thought a group of people are linked to isn’t even what they endorse or believe.

PROGRESSIVE TRUTH ALERT: Liberty and Social Justice aren’t Mutually Exclusive.

I don’t believe in political correctness in the sense of censorship. I believe people shouldn’t be bigots, and as a society we should value using language in a way that conveys the most truth. This is really important in the digital age where facts can easily get distorted through the rapidness of communication. The Pew Research Center has recently published their recent and updated findings about racial disparities in American society for Black History Month. In a time of much needed good news, Pew reports that there are more African Americans in Congress than ever before with 50 between the House (47) and Senate (3), comprising of 9% between the two chambers. The gap between blacks and whites for finishing high school is also narrowing, where 88% of African American’s have received their high school diploma in comparison with 93% of whites. So where does political correctness come into play here? It doesn’t. I’m stating facts with the absolute greatest objectivity possible. See, if I said something like “blacks aren’t as smart as whites and that’s why they don’t graduate as much”, then I would be spreading a falsehood and would fall on the dishonest side of the political correctness spectrum. If I said “n*ggers are poorer than whites” then I would be using politically incorrect language that falls very closely to the end of the ignorant, dishonest side of the PC spectrum- but hey, if we’re trying to get rid of PC language totally, then the above statement isn’t just politically incorrect, but fucking ignorant, bigoted, and racist.

It was surprisingly difficult to find any information about political correctness online and depending on what you read you will probably get a different understanding and interpretation of the term. I found comedians doing monologues about the topic and sarcastic articles about political correctness in action, but nothing direct and objective within the first five results of a basic google and YouTube search. The only results that did first appeared were additional PragerU and Dave Rubin videos about the topic, which is interesting that they are promoting political incorrectness the most. They seem to be advocating a dissent view on something that doesn’t really seem to be an issue (coughpropellingpropagandacough) for most open-minded people.

The biggest argument about political correctness that I can find is that it sugar coats language and that people need to stop being so soft and easily offended. And I agree with this argument- in my opinion, free speech is the most important American value and it is imperative that we speak in a way that best communicates our message. I don’t agree with ignorant language, however I don’t think it should be banned. I don’t think the argument is so much about being “politically correct” as much as I think it is not being an ignorant idiot. Derogatory speech like nigger, faggot, retard, and spic are not just “politically incorrect”, but are ignorant and conveys that the sender is a racist/bigot/sexist/whatever and gives the message a subtext of hate and unintelligence.

I am a progressive who strongly believes that freedom relies on the right of free speech. I think that Milo should have been able to speak at Berkeley, and that people who were destructive in order to ban his speech are just as dangerous as his rhetoric. It seems that a lot of objectors to political correctness think progressives only believe that speech should be restricted to what aligns with what is soft and comfortable. This couldn’t be further from the truth. See, progressive want progress, we want our society to evolve to a place where we can live our best lives together. Progress can only come from new ideas, and without the ability to think and say whatever you want, the chance of progress greatly diminishes.

cute-wedding-gay-top

awwwww ❤

And what about the issue of the gay wedding cakes? Should a bakery be forced to make a cake for Adam and Steve if they believe that it should be Adam and Eve? Yes. I mean, we rationalized slavery because of the biblical verses where God said it was cool to own other people as long as we treated them nicely. It is impossible for equality to exist if our society legally allows for inequality in any capacity.

So, what about places like Curves, the gym that is exclusively for women? A quintessential part of Curves’ mission is to provide a space where women feel comfortable while working out, and one way they are able to do this is by not allowing male members. I am very supportive of the underlying value of Curves’ mission- that women shouldn’t feel judged or uncomfortable when trying to be healthy- however, I do think it is wrong to exclude men from joining. I think that Curves should do everything that it can to continue programming and engaging in business decisions that are womencentric, but by principle, should not be exclusive to women.  Curves should be allowed to state right from the get-go that their message is to make women comfortable when working out and the main way this is possible is by not having a male presence. Men who are aware of this should honor this request, but no be obligated to it. They shouldn’t be banned from joining, but they should probably rethink their motivation for joining a woman-centered gym.

One other argument thrown in with the anti-political correctness ravings was about the allocation of tax money. It argued that nuns, who are against the use of contraceptions, should not have to pay taxes which fund organizations like Planned Parenthood. My response to this is: I am against war, but I still have to pay taxes for the senseless killings in the five places we’re actively bombing right now. I don’t like where my taxes are going, but I believe in democracy and representation of the people, and if I really don’t want my tax money to making white-phosphorous bombs, then I need to take a stand and work to change this.  

And real quick on trigger warnings- I always thought they were kind of stupid until very recently. I’ve had knee-jerk reactions to seeing posts online that say things like: “TW: rape culture/assault” followed by a paragraph about an interaction the poster had last night with a drunk stranger who lifted her skirt in a bar. I’ve often read these things and thought, that’s not that crazy that it needs a disclaimer, right? We shouldn’t be that sensitive and people should be able to read about that encounter the girl posted without feeling some sort of way, right?

Ehh, not really. Let me use a real example from last week that ended in the realization of “oh shit, this is why trigger warnings aren’t stupid”. I was scrolling through my facebook feed, procrastinating doing work, and stopped when I saw a friend, who normally posts silly videos about dogs or equally mindless shit, posted a video that lacked description, but looked intriguing enough for whatever reason. At first I wasn’t sure what I was watching, and the video just seemed like a bunch of people watching a cop trying to help a woman stand up who was hunched over. I immediately thought that maybe the woman was guarding a puppy or something innocent, but was shocked into reality after about 10 seconds when I recognized that the woman was overdosing on what I assume to be heroin. I was not ready, nor expecting, to see an active overdose and I’d be lying if I said the video didn’t shake me up. I have had the unfortunate opportunity of witnessing people overdose on drugs before, and it is something that I prefer not to watch. If I had I known that the video was of an overdose, I simply would have just kept scrolling without giving it a second thought.  However, since there was no description, let alone a trigger warning, I endured an emotional moment that I would have preferred to do without.  So even though this video probably didn’t bother most people who watched it, having a trigger warning would have been helpful for the ones like me who would prefer not to see that. This goes for people who have unresolved trauma from sexual assault and have an emotion reaction to reading about rape or sexual assault online. Trigger warnings aren’t so snowflakes feel safe, it’s so real people don’t have to look at shit that might be emotionally disturbing, that’s all.

So all in all, progressives, at least progressives like myself, value liberty and free speech just as much as the next person. Placing people in boxes ends conversations before they can begin and stifles creativity, which is integral for the evolution of society to a more just and loving world.

 

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In Defense of the Green Party

In Defense of the Green Party:

Full Disclosure: If it matters, I am a registered member of the Green Party but the following is in no way affiliated with the Green Party of the United States, or any political party. This is my own opinion, and only my opinion.

I feel scared to openly admit that sometimes, that I’m a registered Green Party member, and that’s a weird thing. So I want to break down how I feel about the democratic process, in a brief nutshell:

What I want and value: love & world peace & fairness & equality in the world. I know that’s huge and subjective and metaphysical, and I don’t know how to get there, but I do know that the Green Party’s Platform aligns best with what I believe in. Concerning the real, the big, issues, I think that we need a whole transformation. I don’t know if it should come in the form of a revolution, but we need a freaking big change. And listen: Everyone, one day, can be alright. I truly believe that. We’re all in this together, we can make it work. What we need to do is to put our heads in collaboration conjunctively, and figure it out. But that can’t happen when we are constrained to a two-party system.

So, here’s what’s up. The shit that we see on mainstream media and a lot of the internet is only a piece of the pie. The “Can you believe what she just did?”, “Oh, you won’t believe what Trump just said!”,  “So-and-so is back up 2 points in the polls!”, “So-and-so drops 2 points in the polls!”.None of that matters. Seriously, it doesn’t, but it makes up everything that a lot of people know, and that’s a real big problem.

Listen, there is anger on all sides. There’s a lot of hate and darkness, and it exists everywhere. You can’t get away from it. It’s smeared all over the place. Hate is fear is fear is hate.

So here’s what I want: I want to vote for someone. That’s how I’ve always felt about doing my civic duty and casting my ballot. I always want to vote FOR someone. Because that’s where my true values lie. I want to live in accordance with MY values. I want MY goals to come true. And not to come off too cozy (or snotty), but I think I have pretty good values. And that’s what it all comes down to, ya’ll. No matter what my party affiliation may be, I’m always going to vote where my heart and conscious are. And right now, that happens to most closely lie within the construct of the Green Party.

 

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N.C.’s HB2 is Nasty, Smelly, Diarrhea Bullshit.

pepto bismol

NC Republicans and Gov. McCrory should provide everyone in NC a bottle of Pepto for all the bullshit they’re causing.

I can’t take this dumb transgender bathroom shite anymore. North Carolina’s HB2 “Public Public Securities and Facilities Act” AKA the Bathroom Bill is trying to make an issue out of a NON-ISSUE. This bathroom law isn’t about keeping sexually deviant predators from raping little girls, it’s about allowing businesses to actively discriminate against transgender people. Technically, in North Carolina, it is a LAW to discriminate against transgender people.

Anyone who is sporting the argument “I don’t want some ‘man in a dress’ coming into the ladies room and preying on young girls” is ignorant and insulting to the rest of humanity who aren’t idiots. I have to take a strong stand on this. It’s really bothersome and the amount of shit that trans people already have to deal with is so immense that I’ll never be able to comprehend. At least let them use the bathroom in peace.

I recently had the opportunity to attend The Commonwealth Medical College’s Fourth Annual Transgender Health Conference and it was really eye opening. As far as statistics go, transgender women of color experience the highest rate of being the victims of hate crimes and murder. Transgender people attempt suicide at rate of 14.1% as compared to the general population of 1.4%. Dare I say that there is an epidemic of suicide in the transcommunity that can be prevented with just a little bit of education for the rest of the general population?

Do you know a transwoman or transman? You probably do and don’t even know it. I’m so proud to have an aunt who is transgender and is an active advocate for the trans community. She is so intelligent, the highest ranking transwoman veteran(!), is beautiful, and a woman.   (Here’s her being dope af on MSNBC) If someone like her, who is a woman, is forced to use the men’s room she could be put into a very dangerous situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an overlap in ignorance between the people who are pro-HB2 and perpetrators of crime against transgendered people. Really, how safe do you think transpeople feel already? And then to be forced into an intimate area, surrounded by people of the opposite sex?

I grew up in men’s bathrooms. My father raised me and if my dad couldn’t find a stranger woman who looked nice enough to take me to the bathroom (which in hindsight is probably more dangerous), then the only option would be for my dad to take me into the men’s room. I’m not psychologically fucked up from seeing men pee in nasty urinals as a little girl. As an adult woman, I have used the men’s room if the ladies room line is too long and I have yet to be assaulted in a public bathroom.

And what about the dudes who ate too much at Taco Bandito and make a gross mess in the bathroom? Do you want to see some pretty lady walking in and having to use the stall you were just in? I mean, how nasty is that? So freaking gross.

isis king

Do you really want beautiful Isis King to have to experience the dangers of using a mens room?

So what else is in HB2? Well, along with the bullshit bathroom stuff there is a provision that municipalities cannot raise the minimum wage to be HIGHER than the state’s current minimum wage of $7.25. HOW CRAZY IS THAT? Say you live in Random City, N.C. and the city votes and agrees to raise the minimum wage to $10.00, well you can’t because that’s against the law. Fucked up.

I’m a fan of the boycotts happening against HB2, but that isn’t enough. Educate yourself and others around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know something. To willingly stay ignorant is as bad as active discrimination. Email Governor Pat McCrory and tell him to overturn HB2. Sign this Change Petition. Email all of the House Republicans in NC because they ALL voted in favor of HB2. Watch this really telling episode of Brothers that touches on public bathroom issues. Do whatever you can do. As my baby boy Senator Sanders likes to say “Change never comes from the top down, only from the bottom up”.

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